Snarky Lawyer

How Houston Juries Resolve “He Said/She Said” Rape Cases

September 20th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime

Rape trials often come down to the conflicting testimony of the accuser and the defendant. Even though prosecutors must prove all elements of their case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it is still possible to convict a person charged with rape in a “he said/she said” scenario based primarily on accuser testimony. As far as most […]

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How White Collar Fraud Can Lead to a 75-Year Prison Term

September 20th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

There is a popular misconception that white collar crimes are treated less harshly by the criminal justice system in Texas than violent felonies. The reality is that prosecutors–and judges–are often more keen to “throw the book” at white collar defendants because fraudulent acts can harm hundreds or thousands of people. White collar crimes also tend […]

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When Does “Stalking” Justify a Protective Order in Texas?

September 11th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

A protective order does not necessarily require an overt act of violence, such as proof of domestic violence. Under Texas law, a judge may grant a protective order whenever the applicant is the victim of certain specified criminal offenses such as stalking. What constitutes “stalking”? Under Section 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code, there are […]

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Are “Citizen’s Arrests” Permissible in Misdemeanor Cases?

September 7th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

Misdemeanor offenses like theft or a first-time DWI may not carry the same potential for lengthy prison sentences as felonies in Texas. But any kind of criminal conviction will have a negative impact on your life. For instance, aside from the criminal record itself, a DWI conviction can lead to the loss of your driving […]

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When Does One Spouse Have to Compensate the Other Under a Postnuptial Agreement?

September 7th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Family Law

Pre- and post-marital agreements are commonly used to prevent the formation of “community property” during a marriage. In other words, anything brought into the marriage remains the separate property of the respective spouse. That said, a couple is always free under Texas law to convert separate property to community property by making a written agreement. […]

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What Happens If I Let My Teenager Host a Drinking Party for Their Friends?

August 30th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is not just a problem for the affected minors. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure that their children do not have access to alcoholic beverages. Some parents may think they can help their children learn how to use alcohol responsibly by allowing them to drink at home–even hosting “parties” for their teenage […]

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Can a Houston Judge Order Me to Pay Retroactive Child Support?

August 30th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Child Support

Child support is established by court order in Texas. Typically the parent subject to the order is only required to pay from the date of the court’s ruling. However, there are circumstances where the judge may order retroactive support, i.e. for a period of time before the entry of the court’s order, perhaps dating back […]

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What Constitutes a Legal Stop in Houston?

August 28th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

One of the most common traffic violations we see in the Houston area is failing to legally stop at a stop sign or stoplight. According to Section 544.010 of the Texas Transportation Code, a legal stop requires the driver to “stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.” If there is […]

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When Does Fraud Become “Organized Crime” in Texas?

August 18th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

One of the most common types of white collar crime in Texas is identity fraud. Under Section 32.51 of the Texas Penal Code, this involves obtaining or possessing someone else’s “identifying information” and using it to defraud someone else. The identifying information may be a physical item, like a credit card or a driver’s license, […]

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What Happens If I Am Charged With Possessing Drugs Near a School?

August 17th, 2017 by Tad Nelson in Drug Crime

Drug crimes are often not just about the offense, but also where the offenses took place. The Texas legislature has declared a number of areas within the state as “drug-free zones.” A person arrested for possession of a controlled substance within such a “zone” faces enhanced criminal penalties if convicted at trial. Officer’s “Well-Being” Check […]

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